Category Archives: Christmas

Cola Pork Chops

Good morning! Happy last day of November!

Yesterday

Last night for dinner, I made cola pork chops, and I thought I’d share the recipe.

Cola Pork Chops    Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cola
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 pork chops
  • flour to coat
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Coat pork chops in a light layer of flour and brown lightly in a skillet (If you’re pressed for time, you can skip this step. They will still turn out good!)
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the ketchup, cola, and brown sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Place pork chops in a baking pan and pour cola mixture over them, coating well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake 30-60 minutes, depending on the thickness of your pork chop.

I don’t drink coke or eat pork chops, but Danny vouched for me and said these pork chops were delicious.

This little lady like the mashed potatoes.

The secret to awesome mashed potatoes? Use milk warmed in the microwave and a bit of cream cheese. Yum!

The Weekend

We have a lot going on the weekend. Tomorrow morning, Danny has to work and Jaden has an allergy appointment. Then, later in the afternoon, my mom is coming over to watch the kids so Danny and I can see a movie and go out to dinner. I can’t even remember the last time we saw a movie or ate dinner alone together, so I am really looking forward to it! Thanks, Mom!

Sunday, we’re going with my family to cut down a Christmas tree. We don’t mess around when it comes to Christmas trees. We go to the same Christmas tree farm every year. It’s about an hour away, and we get a saw and head out to the fields on a horse-drawn carriage to cut down the perfect Christmas tree. The we drag the tree back and have hot cocoa while it gets wrapped up. Then, we spend way too long trying to get it tied to the roof of the car.

Here’s Danny and my dad cutting down our tree last year.

We didn’t have any snow for cutting down trees last year, and this year is supposed to be decent weather too. Hopefully, it won’t rain.

Flashback Friday

Danny found this picture in his phone last night – it’ probably three or four years old.

It makes me miss my long hair so much!! I cut my hair right before my brother got married about two and a half years ago, and it still hasn’t grown back! My hair grows sooo slow. It’s sad.

Today

I have a lot of errands to do after the gym today, so here is my projected workout for this morning:

  • Treadmill – approx. 15 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes
  • Zumba – 60 minutes

Have a great weekend!

Questions of the day:

  • Does your hair grow fast or slow? Ever regret a haircut?
  • Any plans for this weekend?
  • Do you have date nights with your significant other?

5 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Dinner, Family Fun, Fitness, Recipes

Furby and Coconut Fun

Weight Loss Wednesday

Well, I weighed myself for the first time in a week this morning. I was a little nervous because I ate a lot during Thanksgiving week. Weighing myself helps keep me accountable, and I know that if I don’t weigh myself, my weight will slowly creep up again.

Also, even though counting calories is time-consuming and a pain at times, it really helps me feel in control. When I don’t count calories I feel out of control and am more likely to overeat. It’s like getting on a plane and not knowing where your going – you’re not in control of the situation and you don’t know whether to bring shorts or a winter coat. Does that make sense?

Maybe not the best analogy, but counting calories and protein helps me feel in control of my eating. I usually don’t count calories on the weekend, but I really need too because I know that’s my biggest eating challenge.

Back to the scale. I did gain two pounds, but I feel like that was too be expected with the Thanksgiving holiday. And it could have been worse. Two pounds is not the end of the world. Three maybe, but not two. :)

We did go out and get frozen yogurt yesterday, but I made sure that it fell into my daily calorie range.

I don’t deny myself treats, I just make sure that I don’t go overboard. Sigh. I wish eating wasn’t such an issue for me, and I could just be one of those people who could eat what they wanted and not worry about it. Oh well. I am who I am. :)

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical – 16 minutes
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Since I’ve already met my pile on the miles goal, I decided to switch it up this morning, and did the elliptical for about 16 minutes before going to BodyPump. I’m thinking about going to yoga tonight, but sometimes I’m so unmotivated to leave the house at night when it’s dark and cold outside. We’ll see!

Furby Fun

I have a confession to make. I bought Jaden a Furby for Christmas. No, that’s not the confession. The confession is that I bought him the Furby so that I could play with it myself.

When I showed Jaden the Furbies a while back, he said they looked cool. So, I jumped on the opportunity to buy him one for Christmas. I had a Toys R Us groupon deal, so the price wasn’t horrible. I figure that he’ll play with it for 3-4 days before he gets sick of it and then that Furby will be all mine!!

I figured at age 30 I’m too old to ask for  Furby for Christmas.

Furbies came out when I was young, so I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. And they’re so much cooler now. You can shape their personalities by how you treat them and play with them, and you can hook it up to your iPod or iPad. I don’t care – I’m excited for the Furby.

Reindeer Run

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the Reindeer Run 5k coming up in December. It’s funny because my stepmom called me up last night and asked if I wanted to run the race with her. Unfortunately, Danny has his once a year inventory at work that morning, and Jaden has an allergy appointment (and Saturday appointments are hard to get), so the timing just doesn’t work out. But I would  have actually done it because the weather is supposed to be a high of 54 degrees on Saturday.

I hope my stepmom still runs it though because it looks like fun! :)

Coconut Cracking

I finally got around to cracking open the coconut that I won from Matt’s blog awhile ago. I realized that I had no idea how to break open a coconut, so I started out by slamming it on the counter. Danny told me to knock it off before I broke the counter. Fine.

So, I took the coconut outside and pretended like I was stuck on a deserted island and  had to break open the coconut to save my life. I did this by smashing it on the cement. The kids loved it.

I finally got the coconut to crack open (and made a mess outside in the process.) Once I cracked it, Danny opened it. I tasted the water, but didn’t enjoy it. I think I waited too long to open the coconuts because one coconut was starting to get rotten.

Have a great day!

Questions of the day:

  • Do you have any races coming up?
  • What was your favorite toy as a kid?
  • Ever crack open a coconut? Ever been stuck on a deserted island?

18 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Fun, Working Out

Protein

Good afternoon! Today has been one of those days when everything is crazy and busy. I am finally home and able to sit down at my computer!

Today’s Workout

  • 1.31 miles treadmill
  • Butts and Guts – 60 minutes

Total Pile on the Miles: 42.9 miles

Typical morning at the gym today. Ran on the treadmill for a short time and then went to Butts and Guts class.

After the gym, I picked up the last two Christmas gifts for the kids! Yes! I am done Christmas shopping for them. Now, I just everyone else on my list left to shop for.

Danny is the hardest to shop for. You’d think that being my husband, he’d be the easiest. But, no. He never tells me anything that he wants, and I hate just buying gift cards. I have a couple of ideas this year, but it be nice to have a few more.

Besides Danny, my in-laws are super hard to shop for. I like people like my mom, who just give me a nice and easy list to shop from. :) I do like Christmas shopping for others, but I want to get them something they actually want, and that’s kind of hard if they don’t tell you what they want.

I also picked up some hummus at the store because it’s been way too long since I’ve had some.

Lunch

Lunch this afternoon was peanut butter french toast, egg whites, and blueberry Greek yogurt.

Protein

I usually keep track of how many grams of protein I eat on a daily basis.

Eating enough protein is something that I really struggle with, so keeping track of it helps me to know if I need to be eating more protein.

Protein is good for you because it helps you feel fuller longer, helps aid in weight loss, and helps rebuild your muscles after strength training.

I actually ate 100 grams of protein yesterday. I don’t think that has ever happened to me before, but I did have the Special K protein cereal in the morning and as an afternoon snack (1.5 cups = 20 grams of protein!) To get my protein in I usually stick to peanut butter, Greek yogurt, cereal, fish, and sometimes cheese.

I hope you have a good rest of your day!

Questions of the day:

  • Who is the hardest person you know to shop for?
  • Do you struggle with getting enough of a certain vitamin or food? Protein, fruits, veggies, fiber?
  • Do you eat meat? What’s your favorite? My favorite is the salmon stuffed with crab that Target sells. But I can only eat it once in a while or I get sick of it quickly.

13 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Now Tastes Even Better!

It’s Monday and life has gone back to normal. The kids went back to school, Danny went back to work, and I went back to not eating pumpkin pie like it was the last pie on Earth.

Last night, we put up a few Christmas decorations. We bought a mini Christmas tree that the kids loved decorating.

We also worked on Jaden’s gingerbread man for school. The assignment is to decorate the gingerbread man as a family, so I made him little argyle pants and suspenders out of ribbon.

Today

I bought the new Special K Protein cereal to try and had that for breakfast this morning.

I love when boxes say things like Now Tastes Even Better! Oh really? Then what did it taste like before?! Shouldn’t you make it taste better before you even sell it in the first place?!

I was actually surprised by the taste – I really liked it. They’re were slightly sweet, but not sugary like some cereal. A 3/4 cup serving has 120 calories and 10 grams of protein! That’s more protein and fewer calories than my normal Kashi oatmeal.

Today’s Workout

  • 1.5 miles treadmill
  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Total Pile on the Miles: 41.59 miles

This is the last week for Pile on The Miles and Fitness Bingo. I have a total of 19 bingo cards so far! I am going to try to get three bingo cards in this week, that way I’ll have 22 cards in for the final drawing. Fingers crossed.

Last year I put together a post on fitness related gifts for other people. This year, I thought that it would be fun to share a few things on my wish list. Not everything is fitness related.

A new gym bag. I have had my Ed Hardy gym bag for about 2 years. It’s not an actual gym bag, it’s just a tote bag that I bought at TJMaxx. I don’t carry too much with me to the gym, but I like having a bag separate from my purse. I usually carry: a full-size towel for BodyPump, headphones and my phone, my gym card and keys, face wipes, and my water bottle.

I really like this gym bag from Athleta. It’s on sale today only – 20% off.

I debated whether or not I waned this next product, but then decided that I did – the Garmin forerunner 10.

I am not really a long distance runner, so I never really had a use for one of the fancy expensive Garmins. But then the more reasonably priced Garmin 10 came out. I usually use my Nike+ when running outside to calculate my distance, but it’s not always accurate and I must have my iPod in order for it to work. I don’t always like to run with music and I don’t want to have to wear an armband with my iPod just to calculate my distance, so this Garmin 10 would be pretty handy.

I might have mentioned this before, but my secret love is watching beauty videos on YouTube. Trust me, you can’t tell by looking at me that I have ever watched a beauty video, but I do get dressed up and do my makeup every once in a while. I have been hearing about this Urban Decay Naked Palette for years, so I thought it’d be nice to have.

Coffee drinking makes my teeth less than white. Enough said.

Oh yeah, I would also like peace on Earth and eternal health for my family and friends.

Questions of the day:

  • Did you workout today?
  • What is on your wish list? What are you buying for others?
  • Have you started Christmas shopping yet?!

7 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Christmas, Fitness, Working Out

My Dad, the Babysitter

Good morning! Has this been a crazy busy weekend for anyone else?! I feel like we’ve been busy, busy, busy! Eating, visiting with family, shopping, eating some more.

Yesterday

Yesterday, we took the kids to Bass Pro Shop to see the Santa’s Wonderland and visit with Santa.

The line was very long, but they give you a ticket to come back at a certain time, so you can shop around instead of waiting in line. And I think it was worth the wait because they give you a nice free picture of your kids with Santa.

“Nice TapOut shirt”, said NO ONE EVER. Sorry, I had to say it.

They also have a lot of games set up for the kids to play.

Yesterday night, my dad was babysitting McCutie so we took her to the mall to see Santa. There was no line at the mall, but the cheapest picture cost $22, and they won’t let you take a picture with your own camera. Not cool. So, we just visited with Santa at the mall. McCutie ChristmasFace wanted nothing to do with sitting on Santa’s lap, but she did let Jacob hold her near him to say hello.

Since my dad was the babysitter in charge, he had to do all the babysitting duties.

Riding in the train with the kids…

…feeding the baby:

…drinking with the baby:

Good job, Dad! Maybe we should leave all three kids with you…alone. :)

Today’s Workout

  • Treadmill 3.3 miles

Total Pile on the Miles: 40.09 miles

I am already above my goal for pile on the miles! I made my goal 30 miles since I am also doing Fitness Bingo at my gym and need to take a lot of fitness classes. But I surprised myself and was able to get miles in whenever I could.

I definitely haven’t been eating very healthy this week. I know that’s to be expected with the holiday and all, but I hoped to stick to my daily calories everyday besides Thanksgiving. Yeah, that didn’t happen. But tomorrow is Monday, and I plan on getting back on track.

It’s really weird because whenever Danny is home, my eating kind of slides and I eat whatever I feel like, but when he’s at work, I eat just fine. I’m not really sure why that is. Maybe because we need to eat out more during the weekend, or we’re a lot busier so I just grab whatever to eat. But when he goes back to work tomorrow, I’ll go back to eating healthy. Strange.

Questions of the day:

  • Are you back to a normal work week tomorrow?
  • Has it been a busy weekend for you? Do any shopping?
  • Do you eat different when you significant other is around?

13 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Family Fun, Fitness, Working Out

Cardio vs. Strength Training

I woke up this wonderful Tuesday morning to snow covering the ground. Sigh.

It’s not that I hate snow, it’s more that I hate the cold. And I don’t like driving in the snow. The snow has already melted, so I am happy again…for now. It’s still cold.

Today’s Workout

  • 1.45 miles treadmill
  • Butts and Guts class - 60 minutes

Total Pile on the Miles: 20.2 miles

Today in Butts and Guts, we did a lot of exercises with the stability ball.

Butts and Guts is usually about 60% cardio, 30% strength, and 10% ab work. <—– Do you like my mathematician skills right there? Random Heather Fact: Before I started watching my niece in the afternoons, I worked at Kumon Learning Center tutoring kids in a math and reading program.

Back to Butts and Guts….I was saying that the class is about 60% cardio. Before I started taking BodyPump a little over a year ago, about 80% of my time in the gym was spent doing cardio – the treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, etc. I thought I loved cardio.

Then I started taking BodyPump two times a week and eventually three times a week, and I realized that I loved strength training more than I ever loved cardio. Strength training helped me tone up and gain muscle that I didn’t even know was possible. Also, doing so much cardio left me injured a lot – I had hip bursitis from all the repetitive moments, and I detached my rib cartridge at one point.

I am not saying that cardio isn’t good. It is – it’s great to keep your heart healthy and make you happy. But strength training can change your body in ways that doing cardio exercises can’t. I think it’s important to have a good balance between the two. So, even though BodyPump is my favorite class, Butts and Guts helps me get my cardio in for the day.

After the gym, I had a few errands to run. I think I finally finished getting the stuff for the kid’s Christmas stockings. I am ahead of schedule this year!

In our house, Santa fills your stocking with little toys and treats and that’s the first thing that you get to open on Christmas morning.

Buzz Buzz

I started reading a new book a few days ago. The Secret Life of Bees. Yes, I’m using a coupon as a bookmark.

My mom gave me this book to read a long time ago, and I never was really interested in it. I just didn’t think that it was a book that I’d enjoy. Then, the other day, I was bored and wanting something to read, and I saw it lying there, so I decided to give it a try…now I’m hooked.

I am about halfway through and it’s a really good book. I am enjoying it so far, although sometimes when the author goes into a little too much detail about the bees, I have a hard time paying attention. But so far, I’d recommend it.

Questions of the day:

  • Which do you prefer: cardio or strength?
  • Snow: Love it or Hate it?
  • Do you have stockings in your house for the holidays?
  • Have you read The Secret Life of Bees?

13 Comments

Filed under Book Review, Christmas, Fitness, Working Out

Showers and Birthdays

Early yesterday afternoon, we went to my cousin’s baby shower.

It was at a banquet hall, and it was very nice. It was your typical baby shower – we ate food, played games, ate cake, opened presents.

My other cousin made cookies in a jar as a baby shower favor.

I thought this was such an awesome idea! Much better than the normal baby food jars filled with candies or whatever. This would also make an awesome gift for Christmas.

Of course, Jaden and I got right to work making those cookies this morning.

The cookies were so good!

After the baby shower yesterday, I went home to get Danny and the boys and we headed out to Gordon Biersch to celebrate Crystal’s birthday.

There was a big group of us that went, so Danny and I got banned from the big people table, and had to sit separately at the kid’s table. Thanks, family :)

The low light option on my camera doesn’t really work anymore (maybe because I dropped the camera a few times?) so the pictures in the restaurant didn’t turn out as well as they should have.

I had the fish taco, which I’ve had before, and they’re so delicious. Last time, I had the pecan crusted salmon, which was amazing, but I wasn’t really in a salmon mood.

After dinner, we stayed and watched the Christmas lights for a while. Gordon Biersch is located in an outdoor mall, and yesterday was the tree lightening ceremony, so by the time we were done eating dinner, the tree was all lit and the lights were going off to music. I love Christmas lights. The only picture I took of the tree came out blurry, but I still think it looks cool.

Questions of the day:

  • What kind of camera do you have? Any recommendations?
  • Do you decorate your house with Christmas lights?
  • Do you ever make homemade holiday gifts?

9 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Dinner, Family Fun, Fun

Holiday Decorations Make me Happy

Last night, we went to Hobby Lobby so I could get some jars and ribbon for some Christmas gifts that I’m working on.

Jaden tried on some hats:

All their Christmas stuff was 50%, and I ended up buying some things that I have been wanting for a few years, but never got around to buying. The first thing you’re probably going to laugh at, but I don’t even care because I love it:

A reindeer costume for my car! I look for one of these every year, but it’s always too late and I can never find one. I think they are so adorable, and the kids are going to love it!

I love A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s actually my favorite Christmas movie, and I love all things Charlie Brown Christmas related. I have been wanting this Charlie Brown nativity figure set for a couple of years, and just never bought it, so I was excited to see that Hobby Lobby had it for 50% off.

I also got a Charlie Brown Christmas clock that plays a different Christmas song every hour.

I just love the holidays! And thank you to Danny for buying all this Christmas stuff and putting up with my love for Christmas decorations.

I also found these candy cane almonds at Hobby Lobby. I love chocolate covered almonds and figured that I just have to try out candy cane almonds!

The almonds are 220 calories for 1.4 ounces. I haven’t opened the package yet, but Danny and I were trying to figure out how many almonds would be 1.4 ounces. I said at least 8 almonds, but Danny said he thought it would be closer to 5 almonds. When I open them, I am going to weigh them, so we can see who’s closer.

We also opened the candy cane Oreos last night. Jaden gave them two thumbs up.

(Yes, I know I need a new tablecloth.)

I had one delicious candy cane Oreo and savored every bite. ;)

Today’s Workout

  • 2.1 miles, treadmill
  • Step & Tone Class – 60 minutes

Total Pile on the Miles: 12.85 miles

I finally did more than a mile on the treadmill this morning! I used to just run on Thursday mornings, but lately I have been going to Step class to get an extra bingo stamp. I like Step class but it’s not my favorite.

Lunch

Lunch today was an Amy’s Margherita pizza.

This pizza is so good! I also had this Southwest salad that I have been meaning to show you guys.

I have gone through three bags of it so far! It’s new at my grocery store and has a different twist than any typical Southwest salad I’ve seen before. It has green cabbage, romaine lettuce, carrots, pumpkin seeds, green onion, tortilla strips, cilantro, and creamy cilantro dressing. It’s my new favorite salad!

Questions of the day:

  • Have you started Christmas shopping yet?
  • Do you have a favorite holiday decoration?
  • What was for lunch today?
  • How many candy cane almonds do you think equals 1.4 ounces?

11 Comments

Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Fun, Working Out